Tag Archives: creativity

Finding clarity with hummingbird

Finding clarity is not always easy. I have wanted to be more clear about what I offer people to help them advance with their creativity.

One of the most valuable tools in seeking the next step on the journey is imagination. My mom said I always had a wild imagination, and I’m grateful for the gift! 🙂

How do you use your imagination to gain clarity?

I like to meditate and sometimes I go on a journey with my imagination.  Night dreams are possible guide posts to what is going on in your life, and through the gateway of imagination, you can re-enter the dream and get some answers.

On a journey into the unknown (or known however you see it) it is always great to bring a protector in the form of an animal. You would think bear or tiger or wolf would be the ones showing up, but I got a hummingbird leading the way.

For some reason I had complete confidence that this little bird could protect me if necessary. I don’t know if you’ve seen hummingbirds in action, but they are tough little warriors.

I read somewhere that hummingbirds evolved from a raptor in the time of the dinosaurs, but I’m not sure I believe that. Anyway…

Traveling with hummingbird, I went back into my night dream. I had missed an appointment with a man in a brown hat. I was in a room with my Mom and there was a sink that leaked. A full bucket of water sat under the sink and I wondered why no one had emptied it.

There was more to the dream, and the feeling was that I had screwed up somehow. The man in the hat had awakened me from a deep sleep.

I realized through my dream that I need to wake up and honor my “appointments.” Don’t miss important meetings due to sleep (unconscious behavior.) The water bucket was full and stagnant, and it was up to me to empty it.

Why wasn’t the leak fixed? No one cared enough to fix it.

Those were the major insights from the dream.

I have been at a crossroads for a while and it’s time to “empty the bucket.” Something new has to open up or I’ll be stuck (asleep) forever.

Dreams can tell you a lot of things, and so can art.

Intuitive art is often far from pretty, but it often holds many insights, just like dreams. In a way, they are both the same.

finding clarity with hummingbird
Honoring the hummingbird

Art = dream = imagination = creation.

To honor the hummingbird I painted this page, and a brown cow showed up as the gatekeeper to the unknown.

We have the power to create something new, something that is closer to the soul’s path.

I would have to say that spiritual experience is the closest to my heart, IS my heart. Art is something I DO, but it can have a deeper meaning, drawing me ever closer to Source.

There are so many variations of spiritual art, women’s empowerment, shamanistic art, religious art, but I don’t feel spirituality has to be labeled, and we don’t have to seek it through some path. We are already THERE.

The key is to recognize that fact and create that which makes us feel connected and feel GOOD in the moment.

Sometimes there are too many paths to follow. The mind says “do that, that artist is successful” or “try that style; it might be saleable.” “Follow the path of that shaman, they seem successful.”

The hardest part is to follow your own path. So much doubt and so many choices. They are all tricks by the mind.

Your heart is always true. Finding clarity in the heart is the purest form of clarity. However, when experiencing the heart there is no NEED to DO or make anything.

However, since we live in a 3D existence we have to move our bodies, so there might be a prompt, a glimpse of something intriguing to do that feels ignited with joy.  There is also a chance that everything will feel blah, but I call that a time of transition.

finding clarity with hummingbird
sheep standing on my head

I made another art journal spread where a sheep (or goat) showed up standing on my neck and obscuring my head.

Sheep are stubborn. Reading the message of this intuitive page, I saw that my image of clarity was obscuring real clarity. I had built the dang sheep as an excuse to not move forward.

But look at the heart that showed up under the belly of the sheep! It was moving into a lighter sense. I had the words Follow Your Heart cut out from a template I had made for another project. I never threw out the words, and they fit perfectly.

I say that all the time “follow your heart.” Well, it takes a lot of courage to follow your heart. Sheep and other stubborn folk may show up to stir up confusion.

They are only images of fear of change. You can’t blame the messenger…

I am more committed to exploring my inner landscape and making art from that. That might be the end of “pretty” art but the goal is to be more open to the mystery and see what happens.

How does that sound to you? Are you ready to delve more deeply into the mystery of you?

I’m going to blog more about it and you can subscribe to my blog or my newsletter (see upper right hand corner of this page to access both.) I wrote a recent blog post about Intuitive art versus Structured art.  

Maybe it will inspire you.

Lots of love, have a great weekend!

Maria

Masks we wear

Masks we wear are many and varied. One person can wear many masks or personas.  We swear the masks are who we are.

I could call myself an artist, a writer, a reader, a nature lover, a spiritual being, a woman. Some roles are more prominent than others. I could go on with more, but I’m already tired of thinking about all the roles I uphold. 🙂

masks we wear

I did some art journaling around masks and it got me thinking about what is behind everything.

We believe our mind is the sole creator of who we are. We have compartmentalized all that we know, all our experiences and beliefs of who we are and who everyone else is.

masks we wear

So much crap is stored “up there,” but to be honest it all hangs out in our energy. The brain doesn’t store all the images and beliefs. The brain is a glutinous mass that sends out and receives signals. (Simplified version.)

Just to digress a little… a bird is a bird, not wearing any masks, a cat is basically a cat, though I have seen mine wearing masks. However, on a more basic level all animals are what they are; they live by instinct.

The wind blows in the trees, the leaves bend naturally to the wind. They don’t say or think that it’s uncool to bend. They don’t have to wear any designer masks to BE.

After my morning ritual I was lifting my arm to scratch my neck and thought, who is lifting my arm? Is it my brain sending out signals? Yes, but there is more too it.

The impulse that got my brain sending out signals to lift my arm to scratch the itch was automatic as is much action involving my body.  We don’t think about it, just do it.

We take everything for granted until it doesn’t work any more.

To cut to the chase, the life force moves the impulses and also creates my art. It makes the whole world go around, sometimes with terrible force like hurricanes.

We are NOT the roles we play.

Roles can only hinder the latent creativity that lies underneath it all.

It can be scary to remove masks. Vulnerability is something we protect at all cost.

However, creativity is vulnerability. If you don’t dare to show up as yourself and you express an artist persona or only copy art that is the latest “trend,” you miss out.

Sometimes I get stuck in limbo between stepping up and “taking action” (as in forcing something to happen,) versus allowing things to unfold at its own pace. It takes courage to stand vulnerable in front of your art. There can be a lot of creative angst yet the reward is great if you follow through and don’t give in to all the imagined monsters in the mind.

We have a great fear of being judged unfavorably. Seeking approval is one part of the mask we have built up. Truth to tell, who gives a sh*t what others think about your art??

We are the hardest judge. We compare the art to the accepted norm and find it falling short of expectation.

What a buzz killer that is.

You have a choice. Do you keep going or do you give up? Do you forgive yourself and allow the art to be just as it is?

We go through many stages as an artist. There are no shortcuts so we might as well enjoy the journey and revel in the moments that feel perfect as everything falls together without barely an effort.

Those moments become more numerous with time, but there is no guarantee.

Be the explorer of a new continent that does not have boundaries like land. Live in the moment and let the wind sing in your “leaves.” That is true art. 🙂

xo

Maria

P.S. If you want to explore art journaling but doesn’t know where to start, sign up for my artist email newsletter and get a free art journal primer. SIGN UP.

Who is in charge?

Who is in charge? You or your ego / resistance?  I know I have written about that before, but through my experience over time, I have realized that inspiration is not some kind of random thing that only comes to a lucky few.

Inspiration is a good habit to grow in your art practice. Inspiration is not a fickle muse or a random occurrence. It is yours to command if you show up consistently.

In charge
Who is in charge?

I wasn’t going to write a blog post today, but I had promised myself to write one this week. Kinda late in the game since it’s Saturday. My excuses were:

I’m not inspired

I have nothing to say

I’m too tired to write now

I’d rather be painting (when would that ever be an excuse??)

When I show up to paint, I get the same bullsh*t excuses. Life would just go by without me accomplishing anything I have set out to do.

I have “make art” written on every day of my calendar. I do miss some days, but for the most part I show up even if it’s only for 10-15 minutes at the current painting or art journal page.

I count my crafts as art too since I’m using my creativity. Here is what I made today.

mermaid polymer clay mosaic
Believe in magic

I woke up and really wanted to get going on this mermaid.  Part of me said, go for it, the other said, sleep in.

There will always be some bullsh*t excuse for not doing what we know will make us happy.

Same crap as with exercising regularly…

Saying “no” to the resistance is a muscle that can be toned and strong. At one point the resistance gets the message and moves over a bit so that you can get to the action you want quickly.

The point is to stick with the action you have set for yourself. If that is “do more art” it’s something that is “holy.” There is no argument allowed and as “do more art”  becomes a habit, you have won.

Remember though, resistance will always be there lurking in the background, but if you have set a “no compromise” status for yourself things have to move forward or YOU will feel like crap while resistance smirks in the background. Been there too many times.

If you expect inspiration to be there, IT WILL BE.

Excuses are not allowed.

mermaid polymer clay
Believe in magic

NOW, go do it! 🙂

xo

Maria

P.S. My free 2017 art journaling challenge is going strong. If you’d like to have the prompt emails. sign up HERE. Guest teacher for March will be Julia Ostara.  The mermaids are available in my etsy shop Earth and Faery.

Perfection kills creativity

Perfection kills creativity and how do you change in the direction of deeper creativity?

Do you compare yourself to the perfection of nature?  What do you compare yourself to?

perfection
perfection

As an artist, perfectionism stifles all expression.  Maybe it’s ok in the very last layer of a realistic painting, but I don’t know since I don’t paint realism. I have suffered from perfectionism from time to time. It shows up as:

That didn’t turn out very good

Is this any good?

I can never get it right

Those statements might not seem like an angle of perfectionism, but when we doubt what we made we have a picture of what it SHOULD look like, and it’s never good enough.  It comes down to comparison to some kind of ideal or living up to someone else’s expectations.

Maybe someone’s voice is running a commentary in your head?

Maybe our parents expected us to be perfect in every way. What does that have to do with art? It has everything to do with whatever task you attempt, be it art, writing, speaking, teaching, accounting. Basically, in every area of life. The way we look, the way we work.

How do you escape this tyranny of perfectionism?

First, you have to realize it’s present, and a pain in the ass. Not everyone notices or perfectionism is so embedded in the “norm” that it’s inconceivable to change.

As an artist, it’s important to let loose and try something completely different from your current mode of expression.

Become three years old again. Slap some paint on a poster board.

Make ugly abstract art. Muddy the colors. Paint big.

Use tools you don’t normally use.

As you explore this, something inside has to give. The perfectionist will raise a big stink, but allow it to and paint anyway. Just go nuts!

Do this with everything. Don’t mop the floor every day even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Don’t pick up the clothes. Don’t obsessively clean the kitchen counter. Let some dishes sit around in the sink.

Allow the inner wisdom to show you that life won’t fall apart if you get a bit “sloppy.”

wisdom
wisdom versus perfectionism

It is a challenge, but to truly change, you have to face the discomfort and get to the other side.

To become a life artist we have to face the difficult things that hold us back.

Paint anyway.  Show up, be daring.

Allow the emotions to flow. There might be rage under the perfectionism, but rage is good fuel for art! 🙂

Then, underneath the rage there might be other stuffed emotions. And then there is peace. And it’s ok if there are dishes in the sink for the time being. Expressing your creativity is more important.

Maybe you pick up a new style… YOUR style.

xo

Maria

P.S. If you’d like to get my art newsletter, please sign up HERE.

Don’t follow the rules!

Don’t follow anything.  Break the rules and do your own thing.

With my art I have discovered that every day is different.  Some days I feel inspired to paint, others I craft, and then again, the crafts change as I see an opportunity.

I suck down a lot of Altoids due to allergies, so I end up with a lot of empty tins. They are too cool to throw away. Sometimes I recycle them, but lately I have had the idea to make travel shrines out of them.

tin shrine
Tin shrine

 

tin shrine
tin shrine

This is an example of one.  I used scrapbook papers, borders, polymer clay mosaic tiles, words, and a picture of Mary. I’m not even Catholic, but I like the classical pictures of her and what she stands for.  This shrine is for sale in my etsy shop. (Link in sidebar.)

I love it when creativity takes me on detours. I often have the notion I should paint, or work on my art journal, but I see something and I see possibilities with the items around my house.

I go where inspiration leads me. I made a video about how to make these Altoids mini shrines. You can check it out HERE.

They are very easy to make. Basically all you need is paper and glue. If you have any stray ribbons or mini silk flowers, they would work too.

It doesn’t have to be a religious shrine.  It could be a nature shrine, an inspirational shrine with a picture of someone who inspires you. It could be used as a small gift box. The sky is as wide as your imagination!

I have a 50% off sale on one of my e-courses: ART AS ORACLE.  It’s a way to tap into your intuitive answers through art. It’s a lot of fun also.  You can read all about it HERE.

The sale ends on November 3, so only two days left.

I also have lots of things for sale in my two etsy shops. Christmas is coming. Are you looking forward to it? I enjoy all the lights the most.

Have a creative rest of the week.

xo

Maria